On Tuesday morning, before the doctor’s appointment in which I was to find out all the test results and learn the prescribed course of action to kill this cancer, I got up and picked up my BIble. I started reading where I had last left off in Genesis 29. This chapter carries the account of Jacob traveling to Padan Aram in search of a wife from his mother’s people. Jacob sees and meets Rachel and experiences love at first sight! He then goes and meets her family. Her father Laban offers him employment and asks Jacob what he wants for his wages. Jacob says, “ I will serve you seven years for Rachel your youngest daughter”. (Gen. 29:18) They agree and the next verse says that “...Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed like only a few because of he love he had for her.” ( Gen. 29:30) Awwwww..... Sweet love story.
Well, many of you know that’s not how it goes for Jacob. He does faithfully serve the seven years he promised to for Rachel; but, on the wedding night Laban pulls a fast one. He brings his other daughter Leah to Jacob. It must have been VERY DARK, because it was not until morning that Jacob discovers his bride is not Rachel, but rather her older sister Leah.
Outraged by this deceit and betrayal, Jacob confronts his father-in-law, who basically tell him casually that it is their custom to marry off the oldest before the youngest.
He then tells Jacob he WILL give him Rachel for another seven years of service.
Jacob’s in love. He fulfills the seven years of service and in the end gets Rachel as his beloved wife.
As I was driving to the appointment I was thinking, “why did Jacob come up with those conditions for marrying Rachel in the first place? Why didn’t he just say, ‘I want to marry your daughter, can i do it now?’, instead of offering to work for seven years that turned into fourteen?”
Anyway, off to the appointment and full of hope and ready to get after this thing!
I was met with, shall we say, a huge disappointment. In a series of Human-ness-es, the genetic marker tests had not been ordered...properly. So, the results were not back.
Sparing you the details, it was to say the least devastating.
After much confusion, the orders were given to order the tests and the decision made to wait until they get back to proceed with treatment. This could mean another 13-14 days.
Later, when got home I was just really pondering and processing how this occurred. There were phone calls made, the right questions were asked as to whether or not they had been ordered and it seemed everything was in place,
The account of Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus came to mind.
These were Jesus’ friends from the town of Bethany, which is about two miles from Jerusalem.
Lazurus was sick and dying.
Jesus heard he was dying and this was his response. ”Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.” John 11:5-6
Why didn’t Jesus drop everything and rush to his friends side? Or just send the word for him to be healed from afar, like he did with the centurions servant?
After the two days, He tells his disciples they are going to this area because, “Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up.” John 11:11
When Jesus gets there, He is first met by Martha and here is how their exchange goes:
“Now Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died. But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You.”
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”
Martha said to Him, “I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
She said to Him, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” John 11:21-27
Next He meets Mary, she falls at His feet and also tells Him:
“Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11:32
I love this statement that both of these sisters made. It declares their absolute confidence that if Jesus enters a situation, He will take care of it. His absence is what they didn’t understand.
After Jesus saw Mary and the Jews that are with her weeping, John tells us
“Jesus wept.” John 11:35
They assume it is because of Lazurus, but Jesus knew He was going to raise Lazurus from the dead.
No. Jesus wept because Mary and his friends were so grieved and troubled. And He loved them.
Mary and Martha didn’t understand why Jesus waited, but His waiting produced more than a healing. It created an opportunity for a resurrection. When Jesus did raise Lazurus from the dead, many believed.
Oftentimes we don’t understand why we have to continue waiting for God to move and it can seem that He unaware, detached and simply out of pocket. Like He is taking His time. Well, He is. And that is a good thing!
Psalm 31:5 says “My times are in Your hands.”
God is working behind the scenes in ways and for reasons we don’t always understand. But He is working.
This passage has come my way a few times this week..
I leave it with you!
I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me,
And heard my cry.
2 He also brought me up out of a horrible pit,
Out of the miry clay,
And set my feet upon a rock,
And established my steps.
3 He has put a new song in my mouth—
Praise to our God;
Many will see it and fear,
And will trust in the LORD.
4 Blessed is that man who makes the LORD his trust,
And does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
5 Many, O LORD my God, are Your wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in order;
If I would declare and speak of them,
They are more than can be numbered.
6 Sacrifice and offering You did not desire;
My ears You have opened.
Burnt offering and sin offering You did not require.
7 Then I said, “Behold, I come;
In the scroll of the book it is written of me.
8 I delight to do Your will, O my God,
And Your law is within my heart.”
9 I have proclaimed the good news of righteousness
In the great assembly;
Indeed, I do not restrain my lips,
O LORD, You Yourself know.
10 I have not hidden Your righteousness within my heart;
I have declared Your faithfulness and Your salvation;
I have not concealed Your lovingkindness and Your truth
From the great assembly.
11 Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O LORD;
Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me.
12 For innumerable evils have surrounded me;
My iniquities have overtaken me, so that I am not able to look up;
They are more than the hairs of my head;
Therefore my heart fails me.
13 Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me;
O LORD, make haste to help me!
14 Let them be ashamed and brought to mutual confusion
Who seek to destroy my life;
Let them be driven backward and brought to dishonor
Who wish me evil.
15 Let them be confounded because of their shame,
Who say to me, “Aha, aha!”
16 Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You;
Let such as love Your salvation say continually,
“The LORD be magnified!”
17 But I am poor and needy;
Yet the LORD thinks upon me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
Do not delay, O my God.
Like Jacob who waited for his beloved and Mary and Martha whose wait resulted in the witness of a resurrection, we will wait and watch for more than we hoped for, knowing that His delays are always delays of love.